As reported on the Religion News Blog, Bishop Eddie Long said that Grassley’s request was “unjust,” “intrusive,” and “an attack on our religious freedom and privacy rights.”
As reported on CBS.com – Grassley is investigating six ministries: “The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six – Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar – also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.”
The letter sent to Eddie Long requests a long litany of church, personal and financial data. (http://media.tbo.com/tbo/pdfs/110507long.pdf)
According to Christianity Today – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/novemberweb-only/145-22.0.html
“Grassley’s office told the Tribune that the IRS “has been unable to keep up with the exponential growth of all tax-exempt organizations, including churches and ministries.”
While Grassley is not proposing any changes to the law or tax code, he’s suggesting that he may do so after the investigation. “Based on initial review, the way ministries operate has changed significantly over the last 20 years to 25 years, while the tax laws governing them for the most part have not,” his office said.”
The Christian newswire reports Grassley’s request as well. http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/510074770.html
What are your thoughts? Intrusive? Unjust? An assult on Religious freedom? Or is the government exercising it’s authority to maintain accountability so that religious freedom can be enjoyed as it was designed?
Every choice has a consequence. While there is separation of church and state…reality is that Christianity says that we must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s – i.e., we must comply with the law. It does seem that law changes might be in the works based on the types of questions that have been put forward in these requests.
Do you think that the law is just as it stands or should be changed. Share your comments.